Consumer technology can provide a more intuitive experience at work, but many IT decision makers have been concerned about the management burden and securing these devices, says Jon Pickering, MD Block Solutions. However, with more than one in ten IT staff (13%) seeing productivity improvements of up to 40%, the case for consumer technology in the workplace is becoming too strong to ignore.
According to the research, 70% of organisations would promote the use of consumer IT if it would both benefit the user and maintain business integrity. However, although security fears and management costs have reportedly been holding adoption back, 72% of the sample admitted that the cost of purchasing and managing an enterprise device is higher than the cost of managing a free consumer device in the workplace. This implies that if security and management fears can be removed, consumer IT may present a more natural and cost effective way of working.
Organisations have begun to understand that supporting technology that staff want to use – rather than that which they have to use – can make a significant difference, continues Pickering. Rather than the clunky interfaces and devices of yesteryear, we now have a variety of devices which are a pleasure to use. However, it is not just about ease of use – a third of the survey believe that consumer devices make employees more contactable. Surprisingly, only 7% predicted that the consumerisation of IT will lower support costs because users are familiar with the equipment, showing a clear need for IT support to help to make using new technology second nature.
Unsurprisingly, the most popular device which IT staff had seen in the office was the iPhone (38%), followed by the BlackBerry (31%) and the iPad (28%). Android smartphones and other smartphones were seen by between 10 and 20% of respondents, with tablets and laptops a rare sighting.